The Bee Lie

BROTHERS AND SISTERS, I'm here to talk about the Bee.

Not the semi-secret social club. Not the second letter of the alphabet.

No, I mean the little furry insect which Columbia Pictures is currently slandering on thousands of movie screens across the nation.

Yes, slandering.

LIFE IS DIFFICULT for the world's trillions of members of the species Apis mellifera. The lot of the common honeybee worker is a sorry one. Her life is a tale of oppression.

Most honeybee workers live no more than 40 days. They spend it collecting pollen and nectar, repairing the hive and acting as the slaves of their mother, the queen bee.

Never in her life will a honeybee worker have sex. She can't. She's basically a neutered number, kept down by the dictator of the hive. (And thousands of years of male-dominated evolution. All the drones ever do is eat. At least the queen bee has to lay eggs. Hundreds each day. Now that's work.)

Every day, from early March to late October, Ms. Honeybee will pollinate thousands of flowers. These flowers will then bloom and form apples, oranges, and myriad other fruits. America's fruit industry depends upon this oppressed worker for most of its cash crops.

AND WHAT THANKS does Ms. Honeybee get? She is squashed, sprayed, burned and generally marginalized by our society. And now, as I said, she is being slandered by Columbia Pictures.

One of the holiday season's most successful family pictures is Columbia's My Girl. Macaulay Culkin plays a sweet kid who falls in love with daughter-of-a-funeral-director Anna Chlumsky. All through the movie (so I'm told--I won't pay money to the oppressors of the workers), Chlumsky obsesses about death--an 11-year-old who's already into angst.

So, of course, Mac (you can't call him Culkin; he's America's Cutest Pre-Teen Guy) dies at the end of the film. How?

He's chased down by a swarm of bees. And stung to death.

Foul! Foul! No fair! Foul!

Now I won't say that no one has ever been stung to death by bees. Some people are terribly allergic to them, and one sting will end it all.

But you will never get me to believe that anyone's ever been "chased down by a swarm of bees."